South Carolina 5th Special Election: Less Stressful GOP Race

2017 South Carolina 5th Special Election US House

While the battle rages on the next state over, the South Carolina 5th special election looks like a much easier time for Republicans.

Mick Mulvaney left his seat earlier this year to join the Trump administration. This will result in a special election on the same day as all political eyes will be on Georgia: June 20, 2017.

Much less consideration is coming this election’s way, as the Republicans expect to hold the seat. Anything less would be a shocking outcome.

Mulvaney, a Republican, won the seat in 2010 and held it until his resignation. He was re-elected in 2016 with 59 percent of the vote.

South Carolina 5th Special Election Candidates

The Republican nominee is Ralph Norman, a former state representative from the area north of Rock Hill and bordering Charlotte, North Carolina. Norman recently resigned his seat to focus on the congressional campaign.

Republicans had a tight race to pick Mulvaney’s replacement. Norman narrowly list the primary to Tommy Pope, but Pope lost the runoff to Norman by 203 votes. The Republican candidate has a conservative outlook on abortion, gay marriage, the Second Amendment, and national security issues.

Meanwhile, the Democrats nominated Archie Parnell, an attorney from Sumter. Parnell has prior experience in Washington politics having worked in the Department of Justice, among other stops. He won his Democratic primary in a landslide (71 percent) against two challengers.

Parnell supports Obamacare, protecting gay marriage, and reconsideration of mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug offenses.

Other candidates running include David Kulma (Green), Victor Kocher (Libertarian), and Bill Bledsoe (Constitution).

South Carolina 5th Special Election Polls

Only two public polls have been released, both a month old. A Victory Enterprises poll gave Norman a 17-point lead over Parnell. Also, Gravis Marketing had Norman’s advantage over Parnell at 13 percent.

The Democrats haven’t been in this seat with a chance to win it since John Spratt lost. While Norman is under 50 percent in one poll, it remains unlikely Parnell pulls the upset. Needless to say, two Republican losses on June 20 would be a nightmare, but two wins would be a huge plus. If they lose one or the other, it’s not going to be this seat.

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